Ask Chef Mary: Peanut butter

I love peanut butter and am looking for some healthy recipes to use it in.  Any suggestions?
Photo: Mary Payne Moran

LOS ANGELES, May 14, 2011

Dear Chef Mary,

I love peanut butter and am looking for some healthy recipes to use

it in.  Any suggestions?

Jessica, Milwaukee

Dear Jessica,

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a classic favorite, and can be mixed and matched in tons of exciting and healthy ways.  When I was a kid, my favorite was peanut butter and honey. As an adult, I’m crazy about peanut butter and raspberry jam on wheat bread.  The great thing about peanut butter is it can be used in both savory and sweet dishes.

Peanut butter and pretzels

Grab a delicious bag of whole grain pretzels (about 12-15 pretzels depending on the size) and combine it with one tablespoon of creamy peanut butter.

Peanut butter and bananas

Plain and simple, add peanut butter to bananas.  The trick is to get the portion size correct.  Half  a banana and one tablespoon of peanut butter is the perfect snack. Throw the leftover banana in a Ziploc bag, and place it in the freezer for a smoothie at another time.

Pita peanut butter strawberry sandwiches

Pita bread is delicious; whole wheat pita (half) is even better.  Spread a thin layer of peanut butter in the pita pocket, and add delicious strawberries for extra sweet flavor (1 to 2 strawberries).

Thai peanut sauce

Thai peanut sauce is a great way to add a kick of flavor to plain chicken. Thai peanut sauce can have tons of ingredients, or be as simple as soy sauce (1 tablespoon) and peanut butter (1 tablespoon). You be the judge!

Peanut butter popcorn balls

Popcorn is a great and healthy snack, and adding protein to it makes it complete. Take one tablespoon of peanut butter and roll it into a ball. Next, roll it in popped popcorn. Place the popcorn balls on wax paper, and let stand in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.

Peanut butter and crackers

Peanut butter and crackers is a classic, but instead of the typical Saltines, Ritz or Club crackers, try AK-Mak Crackers.  Ak-Mak is made with whole wheat flour and sesame seeds.  They have very few ingredients, and all of them you can pronounce.

Peanut butter and other nut butters are a great way to add protein to your diet. Plus, they add many other important nutrients such as fiber, Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Copper and Magnesium to name a few. 

Happy Cooking!

Chef Mary

For more great cooking tips, recipes and stories from Chef Mary, visit her blog. To learn more about Chef Mary, check out her Hail Mary’s, Inc. website. Email questions for Ask Chef Mary Fridays to or click the Ask Chef Mary link above. 

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The information provided is general information about healthy eating. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice or treatment that may have been prescribed by your physician or other healthcare provider. Always consult a physician before starting any new diet or regimen. 

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-cl- 5/13/11

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Mary Moran

Upon graduating from the California School of Culinary Arts in 2002, Chef Mary Payne Moran began her professional career shelling crabs at the world-renowned restaurant, Michael's in Santa Monica.  Simultaneously, she launched her own company, Hail Mary’s, founded upon the belief that good food nurtures the soul, and began catering weddings, parties and large corporate events.

In the fall of 2008, Mary began teaching her culinary skills to others.    Currently she can be found at Hollywood School House teaching her after school cooking class, and teaching her popular "Vegetables or Not Here I Come" assembly.

Most recently, Mary has launched another division in her company as well as a chef she is now also a Certified Nutritionist for high profile clients.  She helps her clients discover their healthy way of eating.  Mary has recently been published in the Los Angeles Magazine, & The New Jersey Star Ledger.

Daily she addresses cooking aficionados through her blog - Cooking with Chef Mary as well as her how-to webisodes on You Tube.

Contact Mary Moran


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